Pre-menopause is often a time of great change, but also confusion. In these years leading up to menopause, you may no longer feel like the same person you were in your twenties and thirties. You’re not alone!
Dr Dominique Fradin Read, along with other experts, stresses that a woman’s focus should be on perimenopause or everything that happens leading up to and around that time.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a stage of life in which the body starts producing less estrogen. The levels can also go up and down more sporadically than they do in a typical cycle.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, hormonal changes are seen 8 to 10 years ahead of menopause. This happens during your 30s or 40s.
Many specialists don’t like the word “menopause” because it means the end of menstruation. Perimenopause is much more than just the end of periods. Some of the most overlooked years in a woman’s life are perimenopause–when there are myriad symptoms to deal with and changes to get used to.
Whether you’re experiencing Perimenopause or not, being in your 40s can feel a bit like being in limbo. Your health is shifting, your body is ageing, and you can experience some common symptoms like:
- Decreased libido
- A noticeable decrease in periods
- Feeling fatigued A decrease in overall energy
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
Dr Dominique Fradin Read says she knows how exhausting it can be when you can’t get your health in order. It’s essential to learn to manage your symptoms and issues as you get closer to menopause.
Because perimenopause is a spectrum, it has no one symptom. Women in their 40s often experience varying degrees of:
- Mid-cycle spotting
- Occasional loss of vaginal discharge
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Symptoms of hormone deficiency, including fatigue and weight gain
- Emotional swings
Can Perimenopause be Managed?
The good news is that you can manage many of these symptoms with simple lifestyle changes. Many doctors recommend taking antidepressants to regulate your mood and minimise symptoms to get through your perimenopausal years on an even keel. However, more and more doctors recommend looking into various forms of mindfulness meditation, such as focusing on a spot, breathing slowly, and counting your breaths.
Do All Women Experience these Symptoms During Perimenopause?
Some Women often experience very mild symptoms that are quickly and easily treated, like avoiding caffeine or carrying a portable fan when a hot flash strikes. A few have much more serious symptoms that require hormone therapy and, in rare cases, surgery.
Loss of the menstrual cycle is a common transition for women. This is natural and may occur for a variety of reasons. However, it is important to understand why you are losing your periods and what you can do to manage this transition. The earlier you treat the underlying condition, the better your chances of enjoying a healthy sex life and handle what is often the emotional roller coaster of Perimenopause.
Perimenopause and menopause are both transitional phases that indicate an end to your reproductive years. There are certain adjustments to be made, but remember that not all aspects are negative.